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I have Ubuntu installed back when 14.04 was new and fresh. Not it has gone through several updates and now it's at 16.04.

My laptop has 8GB of DDR3 memory @ 1600MHz with i3 processor. So it's not most powerful of machines but it's far from poor.

Recently I have noticed that Ubuntu takes up to 2.8GB of RAM when it just boots up. When I start up Chrome and PHPStorm or some other environment it goes up to 7.8, 7.9GB and just stals. If I use any of Google services written in Angular, Chrome goes to about 2.5-3GB.

At same time, I tried booting up Mint 17.1 on same machine from external hard drive, and it only takes up to 600MB of RAM on boot. So I tried installing Cinnamon but it only got me as far as 2.5GB on boot up instead of "regular" 2.8GB.

As for startup applications I only have Skype Alpha and nothing else. There was Cairo Dock before, but now with Cinnamon it's disabled. I've removed Comodo Antivirus and almost nothing is running. Still RAM gets eaten up very quickly.

Even if I go to System monitor and add up all RAM usage from processes listed there, it doesn't even closely add up to what is actually being taken.

Any ideas why? I'm in the middle of few projects and currently installing system from scratch would be quite a disaster for me

  • What happens if you don't auto-launch Skype Alpha? – Elder Geek Oct 28 '16 at 23:00
  • Same thing. Nothing changes – VukBG Oct 28 '16 at 23:01
  • What version of chrome are you running? chrome://help – Elder Geek Oct 28 '16 at 23:03
  • Latest release available for ubuntu. Not sure which one, but I'll check in the morning – VukBG Oct 28 '16 at 23:04
  • I'm running Version 54.0.2840.71 (64-bit) with 6 tabs open and using 1.4G on 16.04 so this is a bit baffling. There must be more to the story. – Elder Geek Oct 28 '16 at 23:07
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When you say "System Monitor" I presume you mean "Conky". Edit your conky configuration file with gedit ~/.conkyrc and insert the line:

no_buffers yes # Subtract cached and buffered ram from memory usage.

The comment after # is optional. Search on "no_buffers" and make sure the line doesn't appear again with "no_buffers no" just to be safe.

To see what was included in the total before (but is now taken out) you can report them individually with:

Cache RAM: ${cached} Buffers: ${buffers}

On my system which is also 8 GB, my conky shows memory used 4.25GB, Cached RAM 2.94 GB and Buffers 207 MB. This explains where your "lost RAM" is.

Cached memory is areas of RAM the Kernel stores information from disk to speed up access. Basically most of RAM applications aren't the kernel will cache to speed up access.

As far as Chrome is concerned when it is running and you press Shift+Esc it will display all tabs and the amount of RAM used. Some websites, especially those with videos and streaming user comments can get out of control and consume a 500 MB of RAM after a couple of hours. By clicking the refresh button these tabs will regain the memory leaks.

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See if this helps - this is worth a try,

In your Ubuntu system, open Dash and start a Terminal. Inside the Terminal enter the following commands,

sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get clean

If you are doing this for the first time, then it may take some time to clear up the redundancies in your system. Additionally please check this page for further insight about things you can do to keep your machine performance at it's prime.

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  • Done it earlier. No luck – VukBG Oct 13 '16 at 20:54
  • What these commands supposed to do? How can i be sure that these won't do any harm? Hint: Add some description of the commands. – heemayl Oct 13 '16 at 20:57
  • @heemayl, Please check the hyper-link in the answer. The third point in that page gives the description of these commands. I mentioned them because they worked in my case. – Arnab Sanyal Oct 13 '16 at 21:03
  • As I know, autoremove will remove any packages not needed by system anymore. And clean and autoclean remove packages from cache. autoclean will remove packages that can't be downloaded anymore thus making package cache maintainable without having it going too big – VukBG Oct 13 '16 at 21:04
  • @VukBG Still do check out the page in the answer. You haven't mentioned your swap space, but I am guessing it will be a few GBs. Given your system specifications your machine should not be hogging so much ram as Ubuntu is known for it's light weight. Also try switching to Firefox from Chrome as a temporary solution until you get your problem fixed. Firefox takes up a lot less resources than Chrome. – Arnab Sanyal Oct 13 '16 at 21:06

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